food health: PANDAN and LEMONGRASS DETOX DRINK

Pandan & Lemongrass Drink

A decoction of “Pandan” and “Lemongrass” leaves can make a good detoxifying drink. By the way, “detoxification” or “detox” for short is the medicinal way of removing toxic substances in our body.

How To Make Your  Own Pandan and Lemongrass Detox Drink

boiling pandan and lemongrass drink

Simply pick 5-6 leaves of “pandan” and “lemongrass”. Wash it with clean water. Then, tie the two kinds of  leaves in a separate knot. Fill 3/4 of the medium-sized pot with potable water and let it boil for 45 minutes with the tied “pandan” and “lemongrass” in it. Remove the leaves afterwards. Chill it slightly and add a small amount of honey to add some sweetness in taste… then stir. Now, it’s ready for drinking! You can have it cold if you wanted it to be a refreshing juice or you can drink it hot enough… if you prefer it as your tea. It’s easy to do and healthy at the same time.

Health Benefits of Pandan

pandan

Aside from its aromatic smell and slight flavor when added while cooking rice or making gelatin, “pandan” or “screwpine” leaves can be considered more as an herbal plant. It can reduce fever and relieve headaches. It can also treat chest and ear pains, wounds, smallpox, arthritis and even leprosy as well. It has beneficial aids for stomach spasms and has healing effects on some skin problems with a bonus of strengthening our gums.

Health Benefits of Lemongrass

lemongrass

Lemongrass or popularly known as “tanglad” in the Philippines is not only limited as an aromatic flavoring in any cuisine or was stuffed inside “lechon”. It is best known for its detoxifying properties and as a body cleanser agent for the pancreas, kidney, bladder, digestive tract, and the liver while lowering the blood pressure as well. It also reduces stomach pain, fever, nausea, and prevents us from colon cancer as it boost our immune system.

Health Benefits of Honey

honey

If you wanted your honey to be nutritious with vitamins and minerals, have it raw and pure. The darker the color of the honey, the higher its antioxidant contents. Honey is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and probiotic. It can prevent us from cancer and heart disease, and good for blood sugar regulation. In addition to that, it has the ability to reduce ulcer, cough, and throat irritation. Also good for healing wounds and burns and can help us to have a blooming skin. Still, it wouldn’t be good if you overdose yourself with honey.

Photos by: Sukito San

food recipe: How to Make “KUNDOL” or WINTER MELON Candy

kundol

A “Kundol” vine growing on my sister’s backyard starts to bear lots of  fruits. We usually pick the young ones and cooked with other vegetable dishes or as a yummy soup that taste a little sweet when eaten. Since it’s plenty, my mom decided to make candies out of the mature ones for a change. Commonly known as “kundol” in the Philippines and popularly heard as one of the vegetables mentioned in a local “Pinoy” folk song “Bahay Kubo”… this fruit vine was known in other English names as winter melon, white gourd or ash gourd. It has a protective white powdery covering on its fruit and you can see and observe that when you touch it. Anyway, here’s how my mother made her “kundol” candies.

INGREDIENTS:

sliced kundol

sliced “kundol” or winter melon

lime

lime

sugar

brown sugar

clean water

PROCEDURES:

peeled kundol

1. Peel off kundol and wash it afterwards.

2. Slice it into halves and remove the seeds in the middle.

3. After removing the seeds, slice the halves into another half and have it diced in small pieces according to your desired shapes.

sliced kundol in lime solution

4. Soak diced kundol overnight in clean water mixed with enough amount of lime solution. The lime will make the kundol candies crunchy enough to munch and to neutralize its taste as well.

5. The next day, remove the soaked kundol from the lime solution using a strainer.

6. In a separate big pot, boil water which is half amount of the pot mixed with brown sugar. The amount of brown sugar that you’re going to add depends on how sweet you want your candies to come out.

diced kundol cooked in water and sugar mixture

7. Next, put diced kundol in a big pot together with the water and sugar solution.

8. Keep on boiling it until the water and sugar solution runs dry or when the kundol completely absorbs the sweetness in the solution.

9. Take a bite and remove it from heat when it’s crunchy and dry enough to be eaten. Cool it down and store in glass containers or candy bowls.

kundol candy

Enjoy eating your dessert and taste its sweetness with your family and friends while watching your favorite movies at home. Happy eating!

Photos by: Sukito San

Recipe by: Prime Bermudez

food feature: SUGARCANE or “TUBO”

sugarcane

“Sugarcane” commonly known in the Philippines as “Tubo” is native to tropical regions of South Asia and the primary source of sugar around the world aside from sugar beets. Sugar which is extracted from its fibrous and jointed stalks and when fermented can produce ethanol which is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. Its scientific name is “Saccharum” and was among  in the species and family of tall grasses which is perennial or sturdy enough to survive while being the largest crop that grows 6 up to 19 feet tall. The global demand for sugar reinforces the sugarcane agriculture to be primarily driven into priority. The main product from sugarcane is sucrose which is an organic compound and popularly known as table sugar. Brazil was the biggest producer of sugarcane in the world followed by India, China, Thailand, Pakistan and Mexico. The Philippines is also a sugar-producing country… and sugarcane is widely grown in the islands of Luzon, Mindanao, Negros and Panay. Sugarcane crop is sensitive to the type of soil, irrigation, climate and its harvest period depending on its varieties as well as the fertilizers used in its growing stage.

SUGARCANE  JUICE

tubo

When I was a kid, we were taught to have a taste of sugarcane juice by means of chewing. The stalks were chopped for about 12 inches as the rind was then removed. Next, its internal tissues were bitten then sucked while being chewed and spitting out the pulp afterwards.  Presently, you don’t have to do it the hard way as that. it is now commercially available in malls particularly in “CARICA” stalls, wherein the juice from the sugarcane were naturally extracted with the use of sugarcane machine for cane processing and pressing then placed in a bottle for a more comfortable consumption as a plain beverage without the chewing part. Plus the fact that the said juice is free from any chemicals, artificial food color and flavoring.

sugarcane in mall

Drinking sugarcane juice have many health benefits such as an alternative remedy for sore throat and flu. It’s good for our digestive system which can prevent constipation due to its rich potassium content. It also decreases our body’s bad cholesterol which in return can refresh and energize us. To add up, it can strengthen our stomach, kidney and heart. Best of all, it can help us prevent and fight cancer because of it’s being alkaline in nature. Moreover, it hydrates our body quickly. Regular intake of its juice can naturally boost our immune system, improve our intestinal health, breaks kidney stones and prevents hypertension to name a few. Drinking  a delicious and natural sugarcane juice can give you a healthy and sweet life ahead!

Photos by: Sukito San

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugarcane

http://www.netafim.com/article/sugarcane–philippines

http://beautyhealthtips.in/best-health-benefits-of-drinking-sugarcane-juice/

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